Angelo Mosso biography

Angelo Mosso


1846 – 1910


Who was Angelo Mosso?

Angelo Mosso is the 19th century Italian physiologist who invented the first neuroimaging technique ever, known as 'human circulation balance'.

Mosso began by recording the pulsation of the human cortex in patients with skull defects following neurosurgical procedures. From his findings that these pulsations change during mental activity, he inferred that during mental activities blood flow increases to the brain. Remarkably, Mosso invented the 'human circulation balance', only recently rediscovered, to non-invasively measure the redistribution of blood during emotional and intellectual activity also in healthy subjects: this is therefore regarded as the first neuroimaging technique ever, forerunner of the more refined techniques of FMRI, and PET.

He was born in Turin, studied medicine there and in Florence, Leipzig, and Paris, and was appointed professor of pharmacology and professor of physiology at Turin. He invented various instruments to measure the pulse and experimented and wrote upon the variation in the volume of the pulse during sleep, mental activity, or emotion. In 1900-01 he visited the United States and embodied the results of his observations in Democrazia nella religione e nella scienza: studi sull' America. In 1882 he founded with Emery the Archives Italiennes de Biologie, in which journal most of his essays appeared. Among his other works are:


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May 30, 1846
Also known as
  • A. Mosso
  • Italy
  • University of Turin
Nov 24, 1910

on July 23, 2013

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